The Right to Be Heard in Composite Administrative Procedures: Lost in between Protection?
European Law Review, Vol. 36, pp. 651-670, 2011
32 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2012
Date Written: October 1, 2011
In this article, the authors examine and question the rule developed by the judiciary according to which, in composite EU administrative procedures, the right to be heard must in the first place be ensured in the relationships between the affected person and the competent national administrative authority. Ensuring the possibility to be heard at the national level might be logically coherent with the institutional principles of EU law, namely with the principles of procedural autonomy and of loyal co-operation. However, the authors will argue that such principles ensure neither the procedural protection of the legal sphere of the persons affected nor the due consideration of the public interests voiced by the participants. The rule mentioned cannot be a general rule applicable irrespective of the concrete division of procedural competences between the national and EU authorities. They will further argue that, despite the fundamental nature of the right to be heard, the EU legislator has taken insufficient account of the consequences of the divided nature of composite administrative procedures for participation rights.
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